NEW ALBANY —
The chronic freeze and thaw cycle generated this winter has created sizable cracks in some New Albany streets.
As a result, the city has shifted its focus away from salting streets and toward patching potholes. Efforts increased this week to fill-in potholes with what are known as cold patches. State Street, Oak Street, Grant Line Road, Shelby Street, Beechwood Avenue and East Market Street are some of the roads where cold patches have been applied this week.
“Hopefully this will last until spring when a more permanent fix can be applied,” Mayor Jeff Gahan said. “We plan to continue this process until the asphalt plants begin producing again this spring.”
New Albany, like other cities in the region, had been blessed with mild winters and few weather related potholes over the past two years.
“We’re paying for it this year,” New Albany Street Commissioner Mickey Thompson said.
He estimated about 90 percent of the potholes in the city have been caused by the cold conditions this winter.
“The freeze and thaw is rough on streets,” Thompson said.
Crews work off a call-in list, and typically address the most recent potholes because motorists aren’t as aware of the cracks yet.
Thompson estimated that by mid-March, asphalt plants will reopen and the city will be able to provide a more permanent fix for the potholes.
There was some positive news this week for the street department.
New Albany received a 200-ton shipment for road salt. The city takes part in the state’s bulk salt buying program, and Thompson said they received the shipment from one of the vendors that participates in that program.
The city was able to purchase the salt for about $69 a ton — much cheaper than what some cities are having to pay for salt from private vendors.
Thompson said it’s hard to predict how the rest of the winter will treat Southern Indiana, but added that New Albany should be OK when it comes to road salt.
“I think we may be in better shape than a lot of other people,” he said.
To report a pothole
Call the New Albany Street Department at 812-948-5352.